Tea party radio ad opposes David’s retention; Shepard gives backing

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Indianapolis Tea Party Corp. has produced a radio advertisement critical of Justice Steven David ahead of his retention vote on Tuesday.

David, who was appointed to the court in 2010, has faced opposition due to his 2011 opinion in Richard L. Barnes v. State of Indiana. David wrote for a 3-2 majority that there was no right to reasonably resist unlawful residential entry by police. The Legislature reacted this year to public outcry, passing SEA 1, which said such a right does exist.

In response to the unusual opposition to a retention vote, David was authorized by the Judicial Qualifications Commission to create a website, Appellate judges typically may not campaign for retention unless they encounter active opposition.

David said in a recent interview with the Indiana Lawyer that, “It’s important to look at a person’s body of work rather than one decision.” He noted taking part in more than 150 Indiana Supreme Court decisions since his appointment, more than 30 of which he wrote.

In the tea party radio ad, an announcer says, “For hundreds of years, your home was your castle. … As a result of Justice Steven David’s opinion, your home is no longer your castle … Is Justice Steven David a judge Hoosiers want on the Indiana Supreme Court?”

The tea party website,, says the ad is airing statewide. Representatives of Indianapolis Tea Party Corp. did not respond to messages seeking comment.

David recently published an endorsement on his website from former Indiana Chief Justice Randall Shepard, who wrote, “It is good for Indiana that Steve David hears the call of public service, and we should vote to retain him in office with confidence that we’re lucky to have him.”

Shepard also endorsed other appellate judges up for retention as well as the process that placed them on the bench. “Indiana’s system of merit appointment and retention has saved us from the sort of unseemly judicial political campaigns so visible even in the states around us. And it has promoted able people to the bench. The public’s knowledge of this fact has produced higher voter participation and higher voter approval over time,” Shepard wrote.

Also on the statewide retention ballot Tuesday are Justice Robert Rucker and Court of Appeals Judge Nancy Vaidik. Court of Appeals Judge John Baker will appear on ballots in COA District 1, 53 mostly southern and central Indiana counties excluding Delaware, Hamilton, Madison and Marion counties; and COA judges Michael Barnes and Paul Mathias will appear on ballots in District 3, 20 counties in northern Indiana.



  • voters exercise their free speech rights; usual cheerleaders for democracy and free speech frown upon it
    Democracy, democracy, democracy, except when it threatens powers-that-be! If the unwashed masses dare disagree with a law decision abolishing an individual right cherished by free Enlgish and Americans since the Magna Carta, then they are "extremists." Bah!
  • Vote No to Extremisim
    I would say no extremisim should be welcomed. Not from Tea pariers, Move Oners, 99 percenters, or the 47 percenters, NOR any liberalist, conservitivist, libetarianist, greenist, socialist, communist, facist, anarchist, No one should be welcomed or have any say or opinion of those in our legal system. U scary!
  • Merit Selection
    Tea Party extremism is not welcome in our Legal System of Justice: RETAIN STEVEN DAVID

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    1. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

    2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

    3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

    4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

    5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues